Pelican Cruises are one one of the cruise liners that you can book to experience Halong Bay. The price of the cruise is inclusive of all transfers to and from Hanoi to Halong Bay. We reached the Halong Bay Habour after four hours on the road, and the harbour was neatly lined up with various cruise liner companies waiting to sail away.
We were on the QN6900, an older ship, which was a little rough around the edges but still looked reasonably nice. We went onboard and were shown to the restaurant where we were given a safety and itinerary briefing.
The Manager was very funny and introduced the crew and ran through the various optional activities that we could take part in such as kayaking, cooking class, cave trekking and swimming. These activities are all inclusive in the price which is good.
All meals are also included, and for us this included lunch on arrival, dinner, breakfast and brunch. The cruise we booked is called the one night two day cruise, which in reality is really 24 hours, however it was jam packed with lots of fun activities. Make sure you do all the activities especially the kayaking.
We had all our meals in the restaurant and they made sure we were always fed. The meals were buffet style food which was average and could largely be improved upon. We had a lovely 4 course gourmet dinner that was really impressive considering the buffet meals though.
The upper deck has a sundeck with lazy chairs for you to enjoy the sunset with a delicious cocktail in hand. Happy Hour is between 6-8 where you buy one get one free. The views were breathtaking from the sundeck and you get the best photo spots.
We booked the Royal suite, which came with its own private balcony and sundeck chairs. The room was spacious and lovely with huge windows providing excellent views.
I loved our room and wish we’d never leave. The bathroom was huge. The room was excellent except you can tell its really old and in dire need of some refurbishment .
The service was good, however I felt that the waiters weren’t that proficient in English so there was a language barrier. Also I felt like we were all rushed out of our rooms to check out. We had to check out by ten am the next day, I assume this was to get the rooms cleaned for the next guests but seriously it just felt too rushed.
Overall the cruise was a wonderful experience, it was somewhat luxurious however I think it was very pricey considering the ship was rusty. I wouldn’t use them again though, only because there are more luxurious cruises in Halong bay at half the price. I really felt a little cheated because the pictures on the website were so good I was convinced that the rooms and the ship was luxury personified, however we learnt the hard way.
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